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Dad Livid After Wife Goes Behind His Back To Book Pricey Family Vacation After He Said No

woman and man seated on couch arguing
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What could be better than a nice family vacation at a park where everyone can participate?

How about a vacation everyone consents to booking and attending?

When his wife proposed a family trip to a water park as a gift for their two children, a husband had major objections. After finding out the trip was booked anyway, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some feedback on his family’s conundrum.

Negative_Flight_4130 asked:

“AITA for refusing to go on a trip my wife undercut me on?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“For some context, my wife (36, female) and I (38, male) have two kids (female, 6, male, 8).”

“This whole thing starts back around Thanksgiving when my wife told me that the kids had wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge (GWL), and that it could be a nice gift trip for Christmas.”

“Immediately, I made it very clear that I was against that, primarily for two reasons.”

“That place is dirty as f*ck. Pretty much every story I have heard from friends and family about that place involves the kids coming home sick.”

“It’s also super expensive. Rooms go for at least $400. And that’s not including meals, snacks, souvenirs and whatever else, all also at a premium.”

“As the month continues to roll by, her & I continue to plan presents for the kids. She had never said anything more to me about it, so I figured she had decided against it.”

“The presents were ordered by her because the Amazon Prime is on her account, but I knew what she was getting.”

“Anyways, on the 16th, she let me know that she had booked the trip.”

“I immediately asked her why she had gone against me & she said that the kids wanted it and that it would be fun.”

“I told her that we really couldn’t afford it, with inflation—we’re both making pretty much the same as pre-pandemic when you adjust for inflation—plus helping to pay my mother’s hospital bills from this fall.

“Especially being last minute and over New Years. I already had taken the week between Christmas and New Years off.”

“She said we would figure it out.”

“I had also been planning to surprise her by taking her out to a nice dinner and drinks on [New Year’s Eve], and had even let our baby-sitter know and put in a reservation at her favorite nice restaurant, both of which I had to cancel.”

“I have decided that I will not be going and have told my wife as such. I have also told the kids and when they asked me why I told them that it was a work conflict, as to not worry them.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I am refusing to go on a trip with my wife and kids. I am refusing to go and making her take them alone.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors were split between OP being the a**hole (YTA), not being the a**hole (NTA) and everyone sucking (ESH).

YTA…you can get groupons for GWL for so much cheaper than OP claims.”

“He completely relies on wife to do all of the Christmas shopping and she presents him with idea and he shoots it down…boo f*cking hoo.”

“It’s not about money, it’s about him not getting his way. ‘It’s dirty!!!’ So is everything. The elevator button you touch, the YMCA pool, the kitchen in that nice restaurant you booked for NYE is probably filthy. (Dated a chef.)”

“So wife goes through with her plan because she does ALL of the mental load for the family (probably bought the gifts for his family too). Probably does all of the household chores, keeps up with all of the school schedules, kid’s appointments and activities AND works and boo f*cking hoo tantrum boy isn’t getting [sex] on NYE anymore so he throws a tantrum.”

“‘Work conflict’—nope. I get to stay home and [masturbate], drink beer and play Call Of Duty for 2 days while wife wrangles kids on FAMILY vacation.”

“Tell the truth, bud. This is a tantrum. Own it. My 4-year-old granddaughter takes more responsibility for her behavior than you do yours.”

“Your kids deserve better. At least their stepdad will be more active in their lives because you aren’t going to there much longer.” ~ NonniSpumoni

“I took my niece who lives in LA—she is my age—and my 6-year-old grandchild to Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim. We live in Orlando and were doing the other Disney for a couple of days.”

“She adored it. It was not dirty, but the food was awful. But my granddaughter loved it and that was the point.” ~ Aware-Climate-8950

“I’m gonna say NTA, but you guys need to solve your communication issues. I was a kid of parents like this and it was stressful as hell.”

“Sit down and make sure you both have clear expectations about your finances and presents. Also, they’ll totally remember you not being there above all else.” ~ deadbeatsummers

“As a father who recognizes some of the emotions you felt, I say: ESH

“Your wife should not have booked it without your consent (unless she is using her personal money for the entire trip). Unilaterally deciding to spend like this using shared budgets is unacceptable and she is an AH for that.”

“I do think you could have been more open and willing to work with your wife on an alternative (a cheaper/different place or in a different timeline when money is less tight).”

“I also think you should have been more clear on (and honest about) your real point of contention.”

“Although you wrote about dirt and diseases, the rest of your post screams that you don’t want to spend the money on it while a part of your family’s budget IS spent on supporting your mother and I don’t think you are seeing that your wife is compromising on that with you already.”

“Your wife has a fair point that the family should also be doing nice things and here is where you need to find a compromise.”

“Both of you acted like children with regards to how you failed to communicate in this discussion and you both acted without giving the other enough room to discuss what would be the best outcome for the family.”

“And now you are not going on the trip because your ego does not want to signal to your wife that you condone her approach (while your wife’s ego could not accept the non-discussion you had with her and she decided to overrule you by making the reservations).”

“The both of you have ensured with their behaviors that there will only be losers here: you, your wife and your kids who are all to some degree unhappy with the trip while you are paying good money for it.”

“Is this how you want to interact with your wife and is this how you want your kids to look back at their childhood? You have to communicate in a better way for the sake of your wife and kids’ happiness.” ~ simulacrum79

YTA. It’s not OK to spend money on a family trip for your children for Christmas.”

“It is OK to pay for an expensive dinner, drinks, and a baby sitter on NYE. And also foot your mother’s medical bills.”

“It’s not OK for her to organise something without telling you.”

“It is OK for you to organise something without telling her.”

“When she does it, it’s going behind your back. When you do it, it’s being sweet and surprising her.”

“And now, you’re going to miss out on time with your kids and tell them you won’t join them because you’re sulking?” ~ Love-and-literature3

NTA.Your wife is a d*ck; don’t one up her. Go to the GWL.”

“They won’t remember if you go. They will remember if you don’t.” ~ MysteriousStaff3388

ESH. Your wife shouldn’t have done that. But then, the rest shows that you’re the AH:”

“• Amazon Prime: we have only one account, and guess what? You can connect on the same account from various computers and phones. You can also configure a plethora of credit cards. I don’t see how it justifies that your wife is taking care of the Christmas shopping.”

“• You are refusing to go on the trip because your ego was wounded. Your kids are 6 and 8!!!”

“Whatever issue you have with the way your wife handled things, punishing your kids for it shows that you are a terribly selfish person. Go, have fun with the kids and handle the situation with your wife as 2 adults.”

“I honestly think we are missing some context.”

“The way your wife acted tends to make me believe that you would actually refuse to listen to anyone else’s argument so you would deprive your kids of something they want to do just because you don’t like it.”

“Still, I don’t condone her way of doing.” ~ slecoanet

YTA. While monetary concerns may be valid, the others are meh. She shouldn’t have booked without you, but sounds more like you voiced concern but didn’t flat out say no.”

“More importantly, if they’re going regardless, YTA for not going. That isn’t related to your concerns, that’s trying to get back at your wife on principle.”

“If the kids will get sick or think it’s gross, they will even if you don’t go. It will cost the same per night if you don’t go.”

“So none of your concerns are valid reasons for you to skip out on the trip, and unless you’re the dad who makes trips a stressful nightmare, your kids will notice your absence and miss you.”

“Then again, if you’re the dad who sulks, pouts, and needs some power, maybe they’d have more fun without you? Hopefully that’s not the case, and if so maybe you should go anyway and correct that, and chill out a bit with them.”

“Like I said, the money is gone, the trip is happening, so you not going won’t change a thing unless it’s a bluff to get her to cancel.” ~ mallad

NTA. You explained to your wife why it was a Bad Idea. And that you really couldn’t afford it right now.”

“She should be more worried about the kids getting sick, particularly at this time of year. Right now is when COVID, RSV, the flu, and other fun diseases are running rampant.”

“I find it really troubling that she decided to use shared family funds for this and book it behind your back. Does she have a habit of doing this?”

“At that point, I’d be hard-pressed to trust her with anything.” ~ bmyst70

ESH, but even in your telling, you kinda suck more than your wife.”

“You let your wife do all the Christmas shopping (because of flimsy reasons). Your wife tries to talk to you about something she and the kids want to do, and you immediately shut her down and discount what everyone else wants.”

“Was she right for booking it anyway? No. That’s crappy, especially if money is a real issue.”

“But it sounds like spending money on stuff that matters to you (paying your mom’s bills, going out for NYE) is not something you clear with her first, is it?” ~ SpeakerCareless

This situation doesn’t seem to have a good solution that will make everyone—or anyone—happy.

Hopefully the OP gleaned some insights and ideas from the responses to his post.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.